Monday, 27 February 2017

Homeless at last....

Well, a plan has to have a start a middle and an end. Last Friday the 24th February  was the turning point - the middle.

We completed on the sale of our home of the last 21 years, 6 months and 26 days. It has not been a home really for the last couple of years as we have let our son and daughter in law live there and moved back in and then I have spent the last 16 months DIY'ing to get it something like to attract the right buyer.

For my record it went on the market in June, we accepted an offer in early October and despite being asked to have it ready by the end of November to move into it took about 5 months to complete from the offer.

There is no doubt in my mind there are still a few areas of business that need a real kick up the backside and the buying and selling of houses is one of them. There is a shocking lack of appropriate timing and associated customer services. The antiquated practices and lack of engagement with modern communications methods and data accessibility do not fit with what is now expected. They deserve to be overridden by technology. We see it in the estate agents side - no %'s anymore, fixed prices and all competing. The 'conveyancing' needs to be shaken up.

Rant over and house gone, it is a big relief not to have the liability of an empty house as well as the costs each month on services hardly used. Plus come the growing season one less large lawn to mow.

So several weeks now until the next but not final part of something discussed many times and planned in some detail over many decades.... more on that later.

The other good news is we have had an offer accepted on a property and exchanged contracts on it. It ticked all but one box and that box can be retrospectively ticked if needed.

For now though a picture of our home of the last 21 years. Lets hope the house looks after its new owners as it did our family and if they are half as happy as we were while there they will  be rich indeed.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

The atmospheric Caldon canal

Last Sunday saw us meet up with our youngest who had flown in to Birmingham airport after a weeks skiing in the alps - nice.  His partner Emma came up and she and Rachel had a girly day shopping while I was Cindafella cleaning the boat, emptying cassettes and fettling the engine.

We all stopped in the Boars head hotel on Saturday and on Sunday went for a walk from Froghall wharf down the (more muddy than we expected) Caldon canal. As we got to our terminus close to the footpath up to the Falcon centre a large American steam loco came past which was a sight to behold. At that point we decided to walk on the Consall forge and get the train back.

It was muddy but still beautiful. 

I have reported the tree down....

When the train passed us going to Cheddleton we could hear its urgent whistle all down the valley - a simple but engaging pleasure for me !

 We timed our arrival at the station well with a five minute wait 

 This is the train arriving with the loco going backwards 

 Leia got a nights stay in a hotel, a train ride as well as a great walk - she does live an interesting life !

Sadly my phone ran out of battery at the station but while watching the engine run around and then couple up the boiler made too much steam and I know where the term  - 'let off steam' comes from, my goodness the noise was literally deafening.

These machines are real living beasts and beautiful to be exposed to, so close as well.

The Caldon canal and the Churnet Valley have some real treasures.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Electric shock and the poo fairy

Ok, don't worry it was not me who had the shock but I am the poo fairy.

Poor Leia was playing with a bottle she had found and backed onto the electric fence that has been installed on part of one of our favourite walks. Not just any electric shock but one up her backside make her yelp quite loud - she backed onto it and shot forward much quicker !

I clocked someone had left their collected dog turds by the gate to get to the path.... two lots so a regular walker. I did my good deed for the day and became the poo fairy and removed it for them. I only hope they do not really start to believe in the poo fairy as they will never put their dog mess in a bin ever again !

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

It's like living in a cloud

A comment from one of my boaty neighbours this morning( last week now !).

The mist and drizzle that has seemingly been ever present this year is not welcome. I am actually looking forward to some strong winds to blow this weather away..... when not moving a boat the wind is quite nice to sit and listen to. Certainly a nice accompaniment to going to sleep.

With the mist and warmer temps comes mud. Despite best efforts I have to go to work in scruffs as the mud just gets flicked everywhere.

So I don't want snow just some nice crisp clean mornings and the sight of the sun might be useful. I literally cannot remember when I last saw  a clear sunny blue sky at the moorings.

Ok - I wrote this a week ago  and since then we have had some nice crispy mornings, but this morning it was back to mud and mist.

In fact Saturday was a beautiful day am.... what a contrast to Tuesday am.... but if the weather is to be crap, better be crap while I am at work.

Monday was so nice Leia and I went to Common lock for a pre work walk... the pictures say it all

Every day it gets lighter and when the sun is free to roam free from the clouds the mornings frosts and evening sunsets are as much as anyone could want.